Current Research Activities
How do we curate our surroundings to encourage or discourage people to be civically-minded? When we buy housing, we buy a basket of amenities, necessities, social connections, and access to employment. Where are we succeeding at getting people into their appropriate housing? What programs and which institutional actors act as gatekeepers?
What contributed to your research interests?
My interest in these topics stems from my professional experience as a real estate appraiser. I began my career reviewing the work of others at the height of the housing boom - often examining reports and corroborating the research in an overheated market where drive-by, low documentation and sloppy reports were the norm. The second half of my experience came after the crash and often involved researching and inspecting abandoned homes that had been foreclosed upon - often in such a hasty manner that the families had to leave many of their possessions behind. Over time, the psychic toll of my job – and the general sense that I was not making a positive impact in my community – led me to form a more specific and affirmative interest in the mechanisms of public policy.
How does your research relate to current issues?
More than a mere focus on how expensive housing is overall, my research focuses on the differences in service delivery practices among state public agencies and how those practices encourage sustainable long-term housing tenure—usually through home ownership. However, since nearly all housing programs run by public agencies require private partnerships, I am much more interested in how the interests and attitudes of actors impact their behavior when they interact with public programs with a public mission.